A Team-BHP reader has spotted a test mule of the Audi A8. The Audi A8 test mule was probably doing ground runs on the outskirts of Mumbai. Audi A8 jostles for space alongside the BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes S-Class models.
Covered in a swirly camouflage pattern, the Audi A8 test car has received changes to a few areas of its body. The changes in the front include those to the signature Audi engine grille, and the front bumpers. At the rear, newer exhaust tips and tail-lamps are to be seen.
The BMW 7-Series has received a mid-life upgrade and the all-new S-Class is due to be unveiled in 2014. So, this Audi A8 test mule is probably Audi’s retort to its German counterparts. This Audi A8 facelift is an end-of-life-cycle upgrade and the All-New Audi A8 is slated to arrive in a couple of years from now. The current upgrade, however, will be showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2014.
Though the unveiling will happen at Frankfurt, Audi will launch the facelifted A8 on the cyberspace much before it. This will take place on the 21st of August and it is also known that another car will be introduced alongside on that day. Details about this ‘other’ car are, unfortunately, unknown. A commercial launch of the A8 in India could take place by the end of this year or early next year as Mercedes-Benz is also planning to let loose their new S-Class very soon.
Audi A8 does have the electronic bells and whistles to bring down its opponents to their knees. The icing on the feature cake is the Matrix LED lamps. They aren’t from the future, but they are ahead of the current crop of adaptive headlamp systems. The Matrix LED headlamp technology uses an array of 25 LEDs and 5 reflectors in each headlamp. These LEDs and reflectors will be twisted and turned individually through a computer algorithm linked to a camera-based object/vehicle detection system of the car.
The features of this technology are :-
- 1. On detection of an oncoming vehicle or a pedestrian, one or more LEDs pointing towards the object/vehicle will be dimmed/turned off. This provides the best possible visibility to the Audi A8 driver as well as the other one.
- 2. It will be linked to the car’s navigation system, and the headlamps will know when to vary their light intensity to better illuminate curves. It will be faster than existing adaptive headlamps (which are dictated by steering inputs) as it will use inputs from the satellite navigation system which will be aware of the planned route in advance.
The Audi A8 is available in the country through the CBU route. With both BMW and Mercedes Benz assembling the 7-Series and the S-Class through the CKD route, they pose a challenge for Audi. If Audi does make this car available through CKD route, it will gain a significant upper hand in the battle of the German trio.
Let’s wait to know what has Audi in store for us…